Possible new Lucea town as Gov’t considers development plans
ST JAMES, Jamaica – The Government’s plans for the development of Lucea could include relocating the township to make it more climate resistant and keeping the existing location as a historic site.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was speaking to vendors during a tour of the Cleveland Stanhope Market on Friday, said the government may have to, at some point, build a new town, as Lucea could no longer accommodate the businesses as well as the people who traverse the town daily.
He noted that while vendors have expressed concern about the flooding of the market whenever it rains, the problem affects the entire town.
“It’s not just the market, this entire town of Lucea is at or just below sea level. When it comes to high tide or heavy rains, the town is flooded. So, any infrastructure we put here, we must make it climate resilient,” he pointed out.
“So, we might have to find lands adjacent to the town and put in new roads, put up new buildings and invite the people who are in the existing town to relocate there, while we take the lands here and redevelop them because this town has historic value,” Holness said.
He noted that markets are a critical part of the plan by the government to address urban townships in rural areas and parish capitals.
“Markets are critical to rural and urban life but they are also critical to townships. We know that right across Jamaica, we have challenges with our markets,” he said.
“When we are going to upgrade this market, we will ensure that it is not impacted by the climate. The market doesn’t always have to be here. I know people are wedded to some locations and say it has been here for generations. If it has historic value, yes, we will try to preserve it,” he pledged.
The prime minister’s stop at the Cleveland Stanhope Market formed part of a working visit to Hanover. He was accompanied by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie.
They also visited the Hopewell market in the parish, opened a therapeutic park at the Hanover Infirmary and broke ground for the matron’s quarters at the facility.
The prime minister Holness also stopped at the Rusea’s High School for a rap session with the students.